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From Dan <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Spell checker underlining
Date Fri, 10 Aug 2012 00:14:13 GMT
Rob Weir wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 4:42 AM, Gerrit Schünemann <> wrote:
>> Hi.
>>> My thought is that underlining is sufficient.  An article in the Sunday NY Times
(5 August) entitled
>>> "Auto Crrect Ths" examines reasons that this would be a bad idea. If the writer
is unsure of the word
>>> or its spelling, he can always go to Artha and look it up.  (Artha offers various
suggestions if the
>>> word is misspelled.)
>> If I may quote the article:
>> "One more thing to worry about: the better Autocorrect gets, the more we will come
to rely on it. It’s
>> happening already. People who yesterday unlearned arithmetic will soon forget how
to spell. One by one we
>> are outsourcing our mental functions to the global prosthetic brain. "
>> That is just what I mean to say. A word is underlined because it's misspelled. You
right click on it and
>> accept the suggestion. And you learn next to nothing. If you just had a marker telling
you, where the
>> mistake was made, that would be different.
> I wonder if there is another way to turn spell checking into a learning experience. 
Might it be possible,
> via an extension, to monitor all words that are flagged as wrong by the spell checker
and corrected by the
> user, and then give a report to the user of the most-frequently misspelled words?  If
this report was run,
> say monthly, then you could print that as flashcards or upload to a repetitive drilling
app, even a mobile
> phone version.
> OK.  Perhaps not as attractive to adult native speakers.  But it could be useful for
younger students as
> well as language learners of all ages.
> -Rob
>> While it is true that you can look it up using Artha (not to think about usability),
you can also look it
>> up in the suggestions. But you still have to check letter by letter at which point
you did a mistake,
>> which is quite time consuming on long words.

      Rob has a point. It all depends upon how one uses the spell checking function. For those
use it as a crutch and don't want to learn how to spell better, that is all it will do. For
those of us who 
use it to improve ours, we learn as we go. We are even likely to check a dictionary (book,
program on one's 
computer, or online). Then we create a user dictionary of our own with the correct spelling
for words not 
found in the built-in dictionary. This is what I do.
      It all boils down to what we ask of our spell checking function. If we ask ourselves
and answer what 
good can we get from using it to make us a better communicator, we will get one result. If
we ask, what is the 
least amount of work do we have to do when using it, we get another result. We will also have
more wrongly 
misspelled words in our writings.
      I have seen posts complaining about not being able to spell check more than one language
in a document. 
Wrong question: "Why can't I .... ?" A better question: "How can I ... ?" [The answer to the
latter is learn 
to apply styles to words from different languages in a document. Whether they are paragraph
or character 
styles depends upon the circumstances.] The spell checker can be quite useful is we are curious
enough to ask 
how to do it.

"My 2 cents"

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